The restoration of the Bashaw Corner Grocery Store mural was completed mid-September after the fundraising efforts of the Friends of the Majestic Theatre Society.
With the help of donations from the community at a successful benefit concert night, society member Mary Kinsella said the mural is “looking quite bright” and everyone involved was satisfied with the results.
The project was a personal one for Kinsella, as the original artwork was designed and painted by her brother Ed McFadden, with herself as his helper, in 2006.
A prolific artist, the grocery store mural was one of the last projects McFadden completed before he was declared legally blind in 2008.
The society launched the Bashaw Mural Restoration Project with the goal of raising $6,000 to restore the mural, which had become faded and weathered.
Artist Dwight Lockhart was chosen to bring the mural back to life, and spent about a month in Bashaw working on the project.
On July 28, the theatre held a benefit night, inviting local performers to put on a concert. Great food and performances were enjoyed by all and with the donations received, the group reached their goal for the mural.
Concert performers were Mark Isliefson, Betty Clark, Carrie Domstad, Taegen Domstad, Maureen and Lou DeManuele, Gudie Feller, Harry Schmidt, Rene Janisee, Mary Kaechele, Janelle Simmers and Maggie Young.
Isliefson, Kinsella’s son-in-law, wrote a history of the mural which he read at the concert.
“We’re all here because of a mural and a man close to my heart, Ed McFadden,” said Isliefson.
Isliefson explained that murals gained popularity in part because of artist and political revolutionist Gerardo Murillo, who joined the nuralist movement in Mexico around 1916.
“Murals help us to understand something about the environment and community around them,” said Isliefson.
“They can depict the common voice shared by people dwelling in one area, helping to create social identity. They can contain positive messages, which contribute to the optimism of a community.”
He went on to detail a bit of what is depicted in the mural, from Indigenous peoples and the first European settlers, to the advancement of agriculture and the prevalence of religion, as well as the famous poker game in which Eugene Bashaw defeated Louis Bruno and won the town that now bears his namesake.
The next possible project for the theatre is the restoration of the Dixy Theatre sign.
“Dixy” was the original name of the theatre when it was owned by Joe Dick.
Now his grandson, Jeff Dick, is a member of the band Prairie State. The band has said if the sign gets restored, they’d like to come and give a performance once the work is done, said Kinsella.